Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top 5 books I always leave my own secrets in

"For sale: baby shoes, never used."
- Ernest Hemingway

There's a story behind today's post quote. Apparently, Ernest Hemingway's friends bet him that he couldn't write a story in six words. He did, they paid up, and so the six-word memoir was born. Once upon a time, a few years ago, I read one of Frank Warren's Postsecret books and the Smith magazine Six-word memoir series (which were inspired by Hemingway, hence the quote) and discovered that a few people had left secrets/memoirs of their own inside it. I was fascinated. They were heartfelt, a little sad, a little hopeful, and a whole lotta poignant. I decided to return the favour and do the same. And so I grabbed a pen and some note paper and sat down to write one secret. Some six or seven secrets later (all in different coloured pens and on different coloured bits of paper because that's how I roll), I realised how incredibly freeing it felt to do such a thing. Cathartic, even. As a result, every year I request all of the books listed below and I re-read them. Every single page, probably twice over, and I pore over the artwork and its attached confession. Looking for meaning. Looking to see how it fit/related to the author's secret. And once I've re-read them, I then write out a secret/memoir for each title and slip it into the book. Am I concerned that people may know which secrets are mine? Not particularly. Sometimes, I think secrets - or the nature of them - lose their power to hurt or sting or hold you back or stop you from looking ahead with hope when you set them free. And yes, I'm fully aware of how dorky that sounds, but I don't think that makes it any less true. These books are particularly good when you're feeling in a reflective mood. (Or if you're slightly voyeuristic, and perhaps I'm both). So read them. They really are that good. And maybe, just maybe, you'll feel like you can share your anonymous words, too. I hope so.

Also try:

  • It all changed in an instant : more six-word memoirs by writers famous & obscure / from Smith magazine ; edited by Rachel Ferschleiser and Larry Smith
  • Saturday, November 10, 2012

    Top 5 shades of Fifty Shades

    "So," I asked, "Do you like the feel of a feather on your naked skin?"
    "I'm not sure," she said "Maybe if you took it off the pigeon first?"

    - From Fifty sheds of grey by C. T. Grey

    Art thou fed up to the back teeth of Fifty Shades of Grey? Have your eyeballs been singed by the spiciness of the dialogue and the raciness of the character shenanigans? (What DOES Anastasia do with that pancake flip? Why WILL you never look at a toothbrush the same way again? In fact, you may even chuck yours out). Yes? Well, that's just too darn bad BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE I haz five shades of Fifty Shades!

    "What does that EVEN MEAN?" you ask.

    Simple: It means I took some time out of my day to look up any and all Fifty Shades parodies and/or Fifty Shades-related THINGS and STUFFS to make up this post. Beck had two turntables and a microphone. I have four Fifty Shades parodies, two sex books, a compact disc, and a pukeko in a ponga tree. (I lied about the ponga tree). (The pukeko is real, though). (Ok, no it's not, I lied about that, too). (I am a lying liar who tells lies). While you read this post, imagine me with no words whatsoever, because it would be the truth. Sexytimes parodies? Speechless. (Enjoy it while it lasts because I am never silent long). And yes, I've requested them all. It is my duty to take one for the team *said with hand solemnly on heart* Plus, I need the giggles. You're welcome, et voilĂ !

    There is also:

  • Fifty shades of ecstasy : fifty secret sex positions for mind-blowing orgasms / Marisa Bennett
  • Fifty shades of pleasure : a bedside companion : sex secrets that hurt so good / Marisa Bennett
  • Thursday, November 1, 2012

    5 things this book taught me about living with a man

    "You've reeled in the man you love. Well done. But the work is far from over. In fact, it's only just begun. And I'm not talking about perfecting your Sunday roast. You, dear, are a work-in-progress. You must diligently maintain a basic grooming routine, both to keep him satisfied and to continue to become the most glamorous and beguiling woman in your - and his acquaintance."
    - Jennifer Worick in How to live with a man and love it!

    Title: How to live with a man and love it!
    Author: Jennifer Worick
    Publisher: Allen & Unwin
    Published: 2005

    I'm single. In fact, I'm allergic to commitment of any kind. Seriously, I can't even own a pet or a pot plant without hyperventilating and feeling like I'm trapped. Twice, though, I've considered marriage. The first time, well, least said...least said. With the second time, I had a dream that I was walking down the aisle and for some reason that made me wake up crying (sobbing, actually) and thinking that all of my choices, and my identity, were being taken away from me. (Yeah, I know, drama queen much?). This all adds up to no marriage, no settling down, no kids. (If I can't do pets or pot plants I most certainly can't do kids). So what better match for a commitment phobe like me, than Worick's tongue-in-cheek relationship humour? Last week on the Auckland Libraries blog I mentioned Worick's book Things I want to punch in the face which, in turn, led me to this find. And this book, OH THIS BOOK! Rib-hurtingly funny, wholly irreverent, and with a dash of truth thrown in here and there, too. Because OF COURSE, right? This is the part where I could tell you that I conducted some terribly scientific experiment to round out this post - but we both know I'd be lying through my teeth. Me being me, I picked out five random tips and ran them past friends and siblings. What a series of emails and conversations that was! Here are 5 humorous things this book taught me about living with a man (were I to settle down), and some responses to them.